Outcome and impact of surgery in paradoxical low-flow, low-gradient severe aortic stenosis and preserved left ventricular ejection fraction: a cardiac catheterization study

Dania Mohty, Julien Magne, Mathieu Deltreuil, Victor Aboyans, Najmeddine Echahidi, Claude Cassat, Philippe Pibarot, Marc Laskar, Patrice Virot
Circulation 2013 September 10, 128 (11 Suppl 1): S235-42

BACKGROUND: The clinical relevance and management of paradoxical low-flow, low-gradient aortic stenosis (LFLG-AS) with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction remain debated. The aim of this study is to determine the features and outcome of LFLG-AS assessed using cardiac catheterization.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Between 2000 and 2010, 768 patients with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (>50%) and severe AS (valve area ≤ 1 cm(2)) without other valvular disease underwent cardiac catheterization. Mean age was 74 ± 8 years, 42% were women, and 46% had associated coronary artery disease. The prevalence of LFLG (indexed left ventricular stroke volume <35 mL/m(2) and mean gradient <40 mm Hg), normal flow high gradient, normal flow low gradient, and low flow high gradient were 13%, 50%, 22%, and 15%, respectively. Compared with patients with normal flow high gradient, those with LFLG were significantly older, with significantly reduced systemic arterial compliance and vascular resistances and increased valvulo-arterial impedance (all P<0.05). Ten-year survival was reduced in LFLG-AS (32 ± 9%) compared with normal flow high gradient (66 ± 4%; P=0.0002). After adjustment for other risk factors, LFLG-AS was independently associated with reduced long-term survival (hazard ratio, 1.85; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-3.07; P=0.02). However, despite higher operative mortality, patients with LFLG-AS undergoing aortic valve replacement seemed to have better long-term survival than those managed conservatively (5-year survival rate: 63 ± 6% versus 38 ± 15%; P=0.007; hazard ratio, 0.23; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.59; P=0.002).

CONCLUSIONS: This large cardiac catheterization-based study reports that the LFLG-AS entity is not rare and is associated with worse outcome whether treated medically or surgically. However, these patients may have better long-term survival if treated surgically. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm this finding.

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